Turkish PM urges governors to be bold against extremism
Binali Yildirim calls for action against any municipalities 'linked to extremism'
Yildirim told a governors’ meeting in the capital Ankara: “In accordance with [a recent] statutory decree, provincial governors have been fully authorized [to do what is necessary] in the case of municipalities that are linked to extremism or support it in one way or another.
“Please do not be hesitant or timid in this regard. Do not allow the country’s resources to be turned into bullets [against] the security forces. This is a sin and a huge responsibility. Do not hesitate one bit.”
Yildirim was referring to a statutory decree published last week that authorized governors to confiscate the movable assets of any municipalities or affiliated bodies found to have used their resources to provide direct or indirect support to acts of extremism or violence.
The decree also authorizes governors to suspend from duty any municipality personnel found responsible of such acts.
The Turkish premier warned against any leniency in the fight against extremism.
“You will be breathing down their necks day and night. We have got to move this issue to the bottom of Turkey’s agenda. This [extremism] delays our projects, interrupts our development and unfortunately causes us to miss our targets,” he said.
Yildirim also called for an “immediate response” to illegal border crossings which he compared to “enemy infiltration”.
"Any crossing other than through border gates amounts to enemy infiltration and requires an immediate response. There shall be no hesitation.
“Any such crossing is illegal and a crime. And it requires doing what is necessary”, he said.